Books to turn to when you need some help…


From toxic positivity to how to survive motherhood solo, this May we’re all about self-help … with some excellent options to help us along. 


Anya Hindmarch is a mother of five, stepmother, entrepreneur and businesswoman, who, in If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair, shares what she has learned during her busy and eclectic life, what she still worries about, and what advice she has received along the way. From practical tips and quick fixes, to observations about confidence and creativity, this handbook will show you how to live a little better and why sometimes, the answer can be as simple as washing your hair. Bloomsbury

You’ll be fine. Everything happens for a reason. You have so much to be grateful for. All of us have experienced toxic positivity – and I bet most of us are – unconsciously – guilty of it, too. So it could be worse. Yes. But it could be a helluva lot better too. In Toxic Positivity – Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy, therapist Whitney Goodman writes about how we’re bombarded with pressure to be positive. Good vibes only, life is good, look on the bright side … we’re constantly told that the key to happiness is silencing negativity whenever it crops up. But, she asks, if all this positivity is the answer, why are so many of us anxious, depressed and burned out? Using real, everyday examples, she shows us simple ways to work through difficult emotions, to have more authenticity, connection and ultimately growth. Oh … and worst toxic positivity ever? At least. So minimising. ‘At least you’re not dead, right? Is that helpful? Didn’t think so.’ Read the book, then follow her on Instagram @sitwithwhit. Orion 


In Surviving Solo Motherhood, journalist Amy Rose and clinical psychologist Dr Emma Cotterill draw from the lived experiences of the single parent community and look closely at the effect single-parent life can have on your mental health. Each chapter focuses on a different emotional state, and includes personal, lived experience from an array of single mothers from various backgrounds, as well as psychological support and tools. Topics covered include anxiety, shame, grief and joy. Described as the book to reach for when you need somewhere to turn, by working through it, you should become more resilient and feel stronger, allowing you to be more present for your child. Welbeck

We’re all nice. In fact, we’re told we’re too nice and we have to change to succeed. Play the game!. Beat them down! Toughen up! Do we have to choose between betraying our own values and being left behind without a voice? Absolutely not. We can naturally be persuasive and successful every day without making enemies of ourselves or other people. According to Zoe Chance, influence is a science … and in Influence Is Your Superpower, she helps you master it. Bold, entertaining and efficacious, this indispensable book is a call to action for all the nice people in the world wanting to practice influence without resorting to manipulation, bullying or corruption to create a brighter more positive future. Penguin

Looking for the secret to mental health? Hello Why Has Nobody told Me This Before?, filled with secrets from the therapy room. Written in short, informal, bite-size entries, Dr Julie Smith offers simple advice, effective strategies and powerful coping techniques to help you stay positive and resilient no matter what life throws your way. From managing anxiety, dealing with criticism or battling low mood, to building self-confidence, finding motivation or learning to forgive yourself, she tackles everyday issues that affect us all offering easy, practical solutions. Penguin

Now, in a world that’s all rush, rush, rush and lived far too much online, we need to feel heard, connected, and understood. And for many of us, listening is simply something we do on autopilot. We hear just enough of what others say to get our work done, to maintain friendships, to be polite with our neighbours. But by doing this, we miss crucial opportunities to go deeper … to give and receive honest feedback, to make connections that will endure for the long haul, and to discover who people truly are at their core. In Listen Like You Mean It, Ximena Vengoechea offers an essential listening guide … with scripts, key questions, exercises, and illustrations, to teach us how to quickly build rapport with strangers, ask the right questions to deepen a conversation, pause at the right time to encourage vulnerability and navigate a conversation that’s gone off the rails. Warm, humerous and practical. Macmillan